Thursday, February 05, 2009

Porkulus Tanking? Americans Get It: Debt

All the polls now agree: Porkulus is tanking. The majority disapproves.


There are likely several reasons, but I think that if one digs enough, the plurality of Americans will say that it's silly spending funded with debt.

Not their personal debt--but the debt the US Government will incur to finance Porkulus.

In the last year or so, Americans have learned that debt can and will bite. They've read the newspaper, or at least have seen network news. They see the foreclosures, the property-value cliff-diving, the mass layoffs. They've watched their retirement savings shrink.

They get it that banks aren't lending because THEY hold too much lousy debt, and the banks required Federal welfare to survive, just like two of the Big 3 automakers.

And they know that that Federal welfare was borrowed money, too.

And--this is the important one--they know that the US will have to repay those T-Bonds and bills someday, with tax dollars extracted from their wallets and those of their children.

They understand that much of the spending is frivolous at best. Bike paths, monuments, ephemeral-green-energy dreams, name it, it's in there.

In fact, it was the very same O-and-Savior who said it:

Last October, while campaigning in Toledo, Barack Obama called for "a new ethic of responsibility." The nation's economic troubles, he said, occurred partly because "everyone was living beyond their means," including politicians who "spent money they didn't have." In his inaugural address last month, Obama regretted "our collective failure to make hard choices" and heralded "a new era of responsibility."

Remember when the problem with Americans was that we saved too little, preferring instant gratification even when we couldn't afford it? As Obama put it in October, "we were allowed and even encouraged to spend without limits, to borrow instead of save." --Reason via Ace

At the very same time American families are tightening the belts and spending on needs rather than wants, Congress proposes to spend on wants rather than needs. This does not sit well.

One can only hope that Congress reads the polls closely (and notes the civil unrest in Europe.) This is not the time to cross the American voting public, boys and girls.

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